Life is unpredictable, and it is important to be prepared for the worst. The estate planning process can help ensure that you and your family will have plans in place should the unthinkable happen. While many estate plans focus on what will happen after a person’s death, it is also important to plan for potential incapacitation. Incapacity can be the result of serious illness or injury, or it could even be related to a mental illness. With proper incapacity planning, you can prepare for any potential issues that may arise in the future, and you can also ensure that your wishes will be respected should you become unable to make decisions for yourself.
Incapacity planning is the process of creating legal documents that will come into effect when you become unable to make decisions on your own behalf. These documents outline who will make decisions on your behalf, based on your wishes. Incapacity planning establishes how you will receive medical care and how your financial affairs will be handled if you cannot do so yourself due to illness or injury.
Creating an incapacity plan provides peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be respected should anything happen to you or your loved ones. It serves as a safeguard against potential disagreements between family members over decisions regarding health care, finances, or other matters. An incapacity plan can also help avoid lengthy court proceedings by providing clear instructions about the types of treatment desired in the event of illness or injury. Lastly, having an incapacity plan in place can reduce stress and ease anxieties about the future for those involved by clarifying everyone’s role within the family unit and outlining exactly what needs to be done in certain situations.
When creating an incapacity plan, there are several documents that need to be included, and these are generally known as advance directives. Multiple types of documents may be used, including living wills, durable powers of attorney, do not resuscitate (DNR) orders, and declarations for mental health treatment. A living will outlines details related to end-of-life care preferences, while a power of attorney for healthcare or property will allow you to select trusted individuals who can act on your behalf in case you become unable to handle your own affairs due to illness or injury. DNR orders and mental health declarations may be used for more specific purposes. By understanding the different types of documents that may be used, you can take steps to set down your wishes and help your family avoid uncertainty and confusion in emotionally-charged situations.
Incapacity planning is an essential part of any estate plan, and it should not be overlooked as you take steps to set down your wishes regarding what you want to happen in the future. By providing clear instructions about how medical care and financial matters should be handled if you become incapacitated due to illness or injury, you can ensure that your wishes will be respected. Taking the time now to create an incapacity plan will give you and your family peace of mind by knowing that you are prepared should something unfortunate happen in the future. At The Marques Eason Law Group, our Evergreen Park estate planning lawyer can help you determine your best options for incapacity planning, and we can also advise you on all other issues related to your estate. Contact us at 312-973-3755 to set up a consultation.